TREE VPPON THE DRYE FOR SPOYLYNG
OF HIR SWETE APPEL
"Fader God, how fyers
and how cruell
To whome the lyst or wylt canst thou the make!
Whan thou wylt spare ne wote I neuer a dele,
Sith thou thy Sone to the deth bitake,
That the offendyd neuer, ne dyde wrake,
Or mystoke hym to the or disobeyed,
Ne to none other dyde he harme or seyd.
I had ioye entier and eke gladnesse,
When thou bytoke hym me to clothe and wrappe
In mannes flesshe. I wend in sothfastnesse
Haue had for euer ioye by the lappe,
But now hath sorowe caught me in his trappe.
my ioye hath made a permutacion
With wepynge and with lamentacyon.
O Hooly Ghoost, that art a Comfortour
Of heuy hertes whiche that woful be,
And arte theyr very Helpe and Counceylour,
That of thy Vertu shadowest me
Whan that the clerenesse or Dyuynyte,
Soo shynynge in my ferdfull ghoost alyght,
Whiche that me sore abasshed and affryght,
[65r] Why hast thou me nought in thy remembraunce
Now at this tyme, ryght as thou haddest tho?
O why is it nought to thy plesaunce
Now for to shadowe me as wel also,
That hyd from me myght be my Sones woo,
Wherof, yf that I none comforte may haue,
Fro dethes stroke ther may no thyng me saue.
O Gabryel, whan that thou come a place
And madest vnto me thy saluynge
And saidest thus: Heyl Maria53, full of Grace,
Why ne haddest thou tho yeue me in warnyng
Of thylke Grace, that veyne is and faylynge,
As thou now seest and sawe hit wel beforne.
Sith my ioye is me reft, my Grace is lorne.
O thou Elysabeth54, my cosyn dere,
The wordes that thou spake in the montayne
Ben endyd all in another manere
Than thou haddest wend, my blissing in to payne
Retourned is, of ioye am I barayne.
I songe to rathe, for I sange by the morowe,
And now at eue I wepe and make sorowe.
O woman that amonge the peple speke55,
How that the wombe blessyd was that bere,
And the brestes that yaue to souken eke
The Sone of God, the whiche that hangeth here,
What seist thou now, why comest thou not nere?
Why nart thou here, o woman, where art thou,
That nought ne seest my woful herte now?
Symeon56, thou seidest me ful sooth:
The stroke that percen shal my Sones herte,
My sowle eke thryl shal. And so it doth.
The wound of deth ne may I nought asterte;
There may no martirdom me maken smerte
So sore as this martirdom smertith me.
So shold he seye that myght myn hurt y see.
[65v] O Ioachym57, o dere fader myn,
And thou, Seynt Anne, my moder dere also,
To what entent or to what ende or fyn
Engendred ye me, that am agreued soo?
Myrthe is to me become a very foo!
Youre fader Dauyd, that an harper was,
Comfortid folk that stood in heuy caas.
Me thynketh ye doth nought aryght,
That were his successour, sith instrument
Haue ye none lefte, wherwith to maken lyght,
And me comforte in my woful torment.
Me for to easen haue ye no talent,
And knoweth my comforteles dystresse;
Ye oughten wepe for myn heuynesse.
Blessyd Sone, on the wylle I oute throwe
My salt teres, for syngulerly on the
My look is set, o thynke how many a throwe
Thou on my armes lay and on my kne
Thou sat, and haddest many a kysse of me.
Eke the to sowken of my brestes yafe I
The norysshyng fayr and tenderly.
Now the from me withdraweth bytter deth,
And maketh a wrongful disseueraunce.
Thynke thou nought, Sone, in me that ony breth
Enduren may, that fele all this greuaunce.
My martirdom me hath at vtteraunce;
I nedes sterue mote, sith I the see
Streyght naked shamefully vppon the tree.
And this me sleeth, that in the open day
Thyn hertes wounde sheweth hym so wyde,
That al the world sene and behold it may;
Soo largely now opened is thy side.
O woo is me, that I it may nought hyde.
And among other of my smarte greuys
Thou arte also now put amonges theuys58,
[66r] As though my Sone had ben a wycked wyght.
And lest that some folk eke parauenture
No knowlege of his persone had aryght,
Pilate hath put thy name vp in scripture59
That knowen myght euery creature,
For that thy penaunce shold not be hyd.
O, woo is me that see al this betyd.
How may myn eyen that behold al this
Restreyne them for to shewen by wepyng
Myn hertes greef? Mote I not wepe? O yis
Sone, yf thou haddest a fader here lyuyng,
That wold wepe and make weymentynge
For cause he had part in thy persone,
This were a grete abredgyng of my mone.
But thou on Erthe fader haddest neuer,
No wyght for the suche cause to wepe
As now haue I. Shalt thou fro me dysseuere,
That arte al holy myn? my sorowes depe
hauen al my hertes ioyes leyd on slepe.
No wyght in the with me, my Sone, hath part.
Al hooly of my blood, dere Child, thou art.
That doubleth al my torment and my greef.
Vnto my herte it is confusion
Thyn harme to see, that art to me so lyef.
Myght nought this raunson or redempcion
Of man haue ben withoute effusyon
Of thy blood? Yes, if it had ben thy lust.
But what thou wylt be done, suffre me must.
O Deth that kytthest tho thy bytternesse
Fyrst on my Sone, and afterward on me,
Bytter art thou, and ful of crabbydnesse,
That thus my Sone hath slayne with cruelte
And nought me sleest. Certeyn I wylle not flee.
Come of, come of, and slee me here as blyue;
Fro hym departen wylle I nought alyue.
[66v] O mone, o sterres and the firmament,
How may ye now fro wepynge yow restreyne,
And youre Creatour in suche torment?
Ye oughte troubled ben in euery veyne,
And his despytous deth with me compleyne.
Wepeth and cryeth as lowde as euer ye may;
Oure Creatour with wronge is slayn this day!
O sonne60, with thy clere bemys bryght,
That seest my child naked this nones tyde,
Why suffrest thou hym in the open syght
Here of this folk vncouered to abyde?
Thou art as moche, or more, hold hym to hyde
As Seem, that hyled his fader Noe
When he espyed that naked soo was he.
If thou his sone be, doo lyke therto.
Lete see withdrawe thy bemes bryghtnesse;
Thow arte to blame but yf that thou doo soo.
For shame hyde my Sones nakydnesse.
Is there in the no drope of kyndenesse?
Remembre he is thy Lord and Creatour;
Now couere hym for thy worshyp & honour.
O Erthe, what lust hast thou soo to sustene
The crosse on whiche he thata the made, and it,
Is hanged, that adurned the with grene,
Whiche thou one werist? How hast thou the quit
Vnto thy Lord? O doo this for hym yet.
Now quake61 for dool and cleue thou on two,
And al that blood restore thou me to,
Whiche thou hast dronken, it myn is & not thyn.
Or els, thus withouten taryenge,
Tho bodyes dede whiche that in the lyn
Cast oute, for they by tast of suche dewynge
Them ought clothe ageyn in theyr clothynge.
Thou, Calvary, art holden, namely
Soo for to doo. Parde, to the speke I!
[67r] O dere Sone, my deth now neyheth fast,
Syth to another thou hast yeuen me62
Than vnto the, & how may my lyf last,
That me yeueth ony other than to the?
Though so be that he a vyrgyne be,
Yf thou by iust balaunce woldest weyen al,
The weyght of the and hym is nought egal.
He a disciple is, thou arte a Lord;
Thou al awey art gretter than he is.
Bytwene youre myghtes is ther grete discord.
My woful torment doubled is by this,
I nedes mourne mote and fare amys.
It semeth that thou makest departyng
Of the and me for ay withoute endyng.
And namely syth thow me but `woman' callyst63,
As I to the were straunge and al vnknowe,
Ther thorugh, my Sone, my ioyes thou appallyst.
Wel fele I that Deth his vengeable bowe
Hath bent, and me purposed doune to throwe.
Of sorowe talken may I nought ynowe,
Sith my name y done awey is now.
Wel may men clepen or namen me Maria64
Fro hens forth, and so men may me calle.
How shold I lenger cleped be Maria,
Sith he whiche is Ihesus is fro me falle?
This day, o, my swetnesse is in to galle
Torned, syth I whiche that was the beaute,
Lo, of my name this day byraft is me.
O Iohn65, my dere frend, thou hast receyued
A woful moder, and Ia an heuy sone,
Syth that deth hath myn other weyued.
How may we two the Deth eschewe or shone,
We drerye wyghtes two, where may we wone?
Thou art of comforte destytuyt I see,
And so am I; O, careful now ben we.
[67v] Vnto our hertes Deth hath sent his wounde,
None of vs may alledgen others peyne;
So many sorowes in two habounde.
We haue no myght oure sorowe to defreyne.
I see none other, deyen mote we tweyne;
Now lete vs steruen here per companye;
Sterue thou there, and right here wylle I dye.
O angels, though ye mourne, weyle, and wepe,
Ye doo noo wronge; slayn is youre Creatoure
By tho folk whiche ye weren woned to kepe,
To guye, and lede them. Theyc to the Dethes showre
Haue put hym. Though ye haue woo & langoure
No wonder is it, who may blame yow?
And yet most chere he yafe them that hym slow.
O special loue, whiche that me ioyned hast
Vnto my Sone, full strong is thy knyttyng.
This day therynne fynd I a bytter tast,
For now I tast and fele the streynyng
of deth, by thy deth, Deth fele I me stynge.
O poure moder, what shalt thou now seye?
Poure Maria, thy wytte is al aweye.
O Maria, nay, but martred66 I the calle.
So may I wel, for thou arte wel, I wote,
Vessel of care, of woo, and sorowes alle.
Now thou art frosty cold, now fyry hote,
And ryght as doth a shyp of barge or bote
Amonge the wawes dryuen sterneles,
Soo dost thou, woful woman, comforteles.
And eke of moder thou hast lost the style;
Thou myght no more auaunte the of that name.
O sones of Adam, al to longe whyle
Ye taryeth hens. Hasted hyder for shame!
See how my Sone for youre gylt and blame,
Loo, hanged here, he bledde vpon the croys.
Bymeneth hym in herte, chere, and voys.
[68r] His blody stremes see now and behold;
If ye to hym haue ony affection,
Now, for his woo, youre hertes oughten cold.
Sheweth youre loue and youre dilection,
For your gylt maketh he correction,
And ful amendys by his owne deth.
That ye ne reweth hym, myn herte it sleeth.
A moder that so soone her coote tare
Or rente, sawe ye neuer none or this,
For child whiche that she of hyr body bare,
To yeue hyr tete. And my child that here is,
His cote hath torne for your gylt, not for his,
And alle his blood y shed in grete foyson,
And al is, lo, for youre redempcion.
My dere child, my fruyt that in me growde,
My blysfull appel, lusty, fayre and swote!
Now Deth hym hath beclyppid with his clowde,
And hath hym percyd to the herte roote.
Go thou, man, ther myght thou haue thy bote;
Go souke the Iuse, there is nothing so swete.
Go take thy parte, I redde the nought foryete.
Gooth nere and seeth how he is forlete,
And al forpercid sore and pytously.
See how ther rennen fyue stremes grete,
That yeldeth oute the Iuse haboundauntly.
Gooth taketh therof, I seye yow feythfully,
In good tyme was he bore that hath the Grace
In tho woundes to make his duellyng place.
O aduersary, cruel drye tree,
to the speke I, now hast thou thyn entent.
My swete fruyte thou hast byreued me
Ageyne my wyll, no thyng with myn assent.
I see how al to racyd and to rent
On the he hangeth, is this wel y doo?
I bare hym monethes nyne, but no thynge so0.
[68v] O cruel tree, sith thou hast thy desyre
Why nylt thou to my fruyt be fauourable
To saue it hoole? But fyercer than the fyre
He fyndeth the, and nothyng agreable.
Hit is to me but ful discomfortable
To see my herte tatched thereupon,
For he and I oure herte nys but one.
Now with my fruyt herte art thou openly,
That al the world it may behold and see,
Restored, whiche I seye the sykerly
Is more of vertu and of dignyte
Than was the fruyt that spoylled was fro the.
Thou hast thy wylle thyn honoure thy suffyse
It shall yeld me my fruyte in goodely wyse".